Not so long ago, the durability and quality of clothing used to be a valued criteria to purchase items. Basic sewing skills and knowledge of how to care for clothes used to be fundamental in any household to make sure the pieces owned could live longer. Unfortunately, the teachings of sewing and clothing care got lost with fast fashion. To make clothing last you have to be able to look after it. Extending the life of your wardrobe is good for personal financial health and environmental health.
We can blame this desensitization to the value of our clothes to the growth of the business of Fast Fashion; making easier and cheaper clothing replacement options. Upcoming trends are rotating faster, changing and accumulating practically every week, enticing consumers to buy for cheap. Traceability in the clothing items you buy from the fabric origin to the ethicality of its production ties in with longevity.
Repair and Reuse
There are other alternatives like tailor and cobblers and dry cleaners, which could help you preserve your pieces longer instead of contributing to landfill. Additionally, there are countless ressources for mending your clothing on youtube that cover anything from sewing a button to patching up a hole. You can also base yourself on our article Repair Economy to understand more about the subject.
In simple terms, the more you wash your clothes, the more they wear out. The washing machine tends to stretch and tumble the clothing, making them prone to damage.
Environmentally speaking, washing and drying clothes in the machine is an extremely energy consuming processes. The average washing machine uses 13 500 gallons of water a year. In this regard it is always better to let your clothing air dry, in addition to consuming energy, dryers create CO2. Moreover, air drying helps retain the original stretch of the clothing making them last longer.
We understand that washing less can worry some people. What about the bodily odors that remain on the clothing? How can we alleviate the smell without washing the clothes?
Multiple little tricks exist for that purpose; one of them consists of mixing three parts vinegar and two parts water into a solution to spray onto your clothing.
It is always important to read the care instructions sewn inside the clothing to properly take care of them. Use low heat for a wash and turn clothes inside out to keep from color fading. The use of laundry bags to limit the wear and tear of luxury items is also helpful. Garments that are worn close to the body, such as underwear and workout clothes should be washed after every wear whereas pajamas can be washed every 4 to 5 wears. Please see chart below for full list of items with recommended washing care.
Keeping your clothes as long as possible contributes to slow fashion with huge payoffs for the environment. If you feel an article of clothing does not serve you, we offer a second life program for that purpose!
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